Last month, I was given the opportunity to review Darren Dash's upcoming novel, Midsummer's Bottom. Readers of his previous books will soon discover that it's nothing like anything he's written before. Taking a daring dip into the lighter side of fiction, you'd almost be forgiven for thinking that this book was written by an entirely different author... almost. Dash's signature wit and humour shine on every page, and it soon becomes clear that this is the voice of the writer we have come to know and love.
Every year, a group of amateur actors come together to perform their annual showing of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream -- much to the dismay of the named fairies in the play. MEET The Midsummer Players. Their dedication to the bard's beloved play is second only to their abysmal reputation as actors. ENTER the fairies of the real A Midsummer Night's Dream. Cursed to attend every performance ever attempted, they have long reached their wits end. When Oberon and Puck hire a human agent of chaos to infiltrate the players and turn them against each other, not all goes according to plan...
It can often take me a little while to get into a book. But Midsummer's Bottom sucked me in from the first page. Dash quickly introduces us to a cast of colourful characters and brings them all to life on the page, Small details and quirks pull you deeper into his world, and I found that I was smiling to myself often. Despite the constantly changing and evolving points of view, the book flows in a pleasant way that makes it easy to devour. This is magical escapism at its best.
One of the things I like most about this book is that you never really know what's coming next. Darren Dash weaves a masterfully woven web of twists and turns, leaving you with no choice but to sit back and be entertained by the unfolding drama. As a reader, I felt like I was looking down on a bizarre, fantastical play, with a birdseye view of this humorous story.
Midsummer's Bottom is a laugh out loud comedy, a rollicking romp that will leave you with a warm, satisfied feeling long after you finish. I really enjoyed this book and so, for me, it deserves nothing less than five stars.
You can buy Midsummer's Bottom here.
Author of bite-sized stories, with debut novel Crimson Touch out 2019.